Can you imagine waking up every single day for five weeks at 6 AM over your summer break? Can you imagine being surrounded by and in-charge of over 100 middle school students 24 hours a day? Can you imagine being responsible for a group of students, helping them with classes and homework and supervising them at every event? Well, this summer that is exactly what I did. Now for some people, this does not sound like an enjoyable, carefree way to spend their summer vacation. But for me, it was absolutely incredible.
The Bridge Partnership Program
So, I had the amazing opportunity to be a Program Assistant for the Bridge Partnership Program. This program brought over 100 middle school students from New Bedford for two different sessions. The kids took classes, attended assemblies and went on some wicked cool field trips to places like Fenway Park and Mass Maritime Academy. My job included living in Scott Hall for the month of July, supervising and helping at every event that was scheduled for the kids, and being a mentor for the students.
These kids come from New Bedford. They have seen some pretty terrible things and have had to overcome some major obstacles in their short lifetimes. New Bedford High School has only a 50% graduation rate. The program was created to try and change this statistic.
My job had such an impact on me because I truly felt like I was making a difference in these students’ lives. We helped show them how to be successful both inside and outside of the classroom, how learning and schoolwork can be fun, and how attending college can and should be a goal in their future. In a short amount of time, I formed bonds and relationships with these kids and I cannot wait until I can see them again. The best part of this program is that it isn’t just for two weeks over the summer. We are going to have events with them throughout the school year and every summer until they graduate from high school, they will come back to BSU.
As an Education major, helping students learn and believe in themselves is something near to my heart. By having the opportunity to work so closely with this incredible group of students, it caused me become even more passionate about being a teacher. I helped these students and in turn they also helped me. It was challenging, hot and very long days to be faced with, but I would not trade a single second of my summer for anything. It truly was the best summer of my life.
What did you do over the summer? Are you excited to be back at school or do you wish vacation was longer?